Review: ‘Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor’ by Rick Riordan

Blurb from GoodReads: 

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.


As you guys may already know, I love the work of Rick Riordan- and in particular the way he has made characters with learning difficulties such as dyslexia the heroes of his novels. I love his fresh, exciting take on diversity and his bizarre, witty use of humour. His reinvention of classic myths is also clever and whip smart- although sometimes a little too wacky for my taste. This was very much the case with MCATHOT (Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor.) It has all the usual Riordan hallmarks- humour, fun, action, myth- and some new and engaging characters, most noticeably of all, Alex Fierro, a gender fluid child of Loki who loves pottery- yes, really- and is a total harcore badass when it comes to a fight. (Oh, Alex Fierro, how I love you- you are so cool.) I also really enjoyed seeing my old favourites again- gentle Hearthstone and brave Blitzen- as well as Magnus himself, of course. I enjoyed learning more about Hearthstone’s past- some of it was surprisingly moving in such a lighthearted novel, which I think was well-judged. I so respect Riordan for turning the focus onto homeless kids by making a lost, homeless and vulnerable child a resilient and very humane hero. While some bits were a little too zany (Norse giants? In a bowling alley?) and some characters I didn’t quite engage with (Samirah, for instance,) other parts had me laughing out loud. I can’t wait for the next in the series- Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead! (Ooh, that title! *Shivers.*)

Overall rating: 8 out of 10

This book in four words: Inventive. Funny. Light. Engaging

Read if you enjoyed: Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson’ series

Favourite Character: Alex Fierro!

Diversity Checklist:  Massive respect for including an openly gender fluid character, and having that character be accepted and included. This novel also includes characters from other faiths, backgrounds and races, as well as characters with learning difficulties, and a character with a disability (Hearthstone, one of my favourites, who is also deaf.) I love how Magnus is considerate enough to actually learn ASL so as to communicate better with Hearth, and how this is incorporated into the plot of the novel. I just love Hearthstone, full stop.


Image from waltersandmurdock on Tumblr





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